Daring Dames: Celia Hunter, Environmentalist

Hey, everyone! Here is the fifth in our series of blogs about women pilots in Alaskan aviation history!

¬†Celia Hunter, though primarily known as a pioneering environmentalist in Alaska was also an early female pilot. Born in Arlington, Washington, she earned her private pilot’s license in 1941 through the Civilian Pilot Training Program. In 1943, she became a WASP, where she met and became friends with Ginny Wood (who is mentioned in another one of our posts). The WASPs were disbanded in 1944, and Celia began work as a flight instructor¬† at Everett Airport. In 1947, she flew with Ginny to Fairbanks, where she began her work as an environmentalist. In 1952, she helped Ginny and her husband, Woody, found Camp Denali. She and Ginny would fly supplies and people out to the camp when there were no roads leading to it. For the rest of her life, Celia worked tirelessly for the welfare of the Alaskan environment.

Picture

Celia Hunter, Women’s Air Service Pilot (WASP), World War II. Kay Kennedy Collection, Alaska and Polar Region Archives, Rasmussen Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks. Photograph, captions, and information from Women Pilots of Alaska by Sandi Sumner (2005).

One response to “Daring Dames: Celia Hunter, Environmentalist”

  1. Rochelle Hansen Avatar
    Rochelle Hansen

    Celia Hunter was my grandma’s1st cousin. I grew up with my grandma telling me of her cousin Celias adventures as a pilot and living in Alaska. Last year my sister and I planned a trip in June to go to camp Denali and get pictures for my grandma because she always wanted to visit and never had the oppurtunity. Sadly she died April 18th last year before our June trip. We loved the visit so much we are going again the 2nd week of September. We will be in Fairbanks for a day on September 6th and wondered if there was any memorials or exhibits that feature Celia and Ginnys contubutions to Alaska. It would be wonderful to see.

    Sincerely
    Rochelle Hansen

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